Big wins for Ragama, Nondescripts
A round-up of all the matches played in the Premier Limited Overs Tournament on December 3, 2013
Colts Cricket Club blew past Colombo Cricket Club's total of 182 with five wickets in hand, as Bhanuka Rajapaksa and Milinda Siriwardene hit sprightly half-centuries. Colts opened their innings with Kusal Perera and Thisara Perera, as both men seek batting form ahead of the tour of the UAE, but although they had set their side off to a fast start at 39 after five overs, Kusal was out for 18, and Thisara fell for 30 in the following over.
Rajapakse and Siriwardene joined forces for the fourth wicket, and provided the backbone of the chase in their 94-run stand. Colts eclipsed the target in the 31st over. Even that modest CCC target was only made possible by Chathuranga Kumara's 75-ball 93, after Thisara had buried the top order with the new ball. Opening the bowling alongside Nuwan Kulasekara, Thisara took three wickets in his first six overs, and had CCC at 51 for 6, before Kumara and captain Hasantha Fernando put up a century stand. The lower order unraveled quickly after Fernando's demise, and CCC were all out in the 44th over. Opener Dhananjaya de Silva's 132 from 129 balls set up a 97-run victory for Ragama Cricket Club, over Air Force Sports Club. De Silva had been aggressive from the outset, as his opening partner and No. 3 batsman Lahiru Thirimanne fell cheaply, but he soon forged a 105-run association for the third wicket with Ian Daniel, who hit 52. Brisk contributions from the lower middle order saw Ragama hit 294 for 6 from their 50 overs.
Air Force were never convincing in their reply. Seam bowlers Nilanka Premaratne and Lahiru Jayaratne had the top order tottering at 47 for 4, before the middle order surrendered three wickets to the offspin of Alankara Silva, plunging the side to 107 for 7. An unbeaten 50 for No.9 batsman Pishan Hewage pushed the team towards respectability, and prevented the side from being all out. Air Force were 197 for 9 after their 50 overs.
Army Sports Club prevailed by three wickets in a low-scorer against Badureliya Sports Club, as typically, the spin bowlers prospered at Army's Panagoda ground. After Badureliya were asked to bat first, all but one of their wickets was lost to spin, with offspinning allrounder Manjula de Zoysa taking 3 for 14, while Ajantha Mendis and Ravindra Palleguruge claimed two apiece. Opener Saman Jayantha was the only Badureliya batsman to hit a fifty, and they were all out for 149 in the 41st over. Badureliya's spin bowlers accounted for five of the seven Army wickets, but while they made encouraging breakthroughs, they were not able to swing the match dramatically in their direction. In the end, a fifty from Asela Gunaratne and minor contributions from the top order were enough to lift army to the target, which they achieved in the 39th over.
Sinhalese Sports Club sauntered to a target of 134 with four wickets to spare against Bloomfield. Having chosen to bat first at their own ground, Bloomfield's openers succumbed inside four overs, and the remainder of their batting wasn't any better. The highest partnership in the innings was 34 for the seventh wicket, and the hosts were all out in the 42nd over. 22-year-old medium-pacer Charith Jayampathi gleaned three scalps in the innings, including that of opener Nadeera Nawela for a duck, to set Bloomfield's woeful slide in motion. Sachithra Senanayake took 2 for 23.
SSC lost three batsmen to run outs in their innings, after Bloomfield had also lost two to the same mode of dismissal, but they were in a favourable position throughout the chase. Kaushal Silva hit 41 and Thilina Kandamby and Senanayake brought the match home in the 29th over.
Strong contributions from the lower-middle order with both bat and ball helped Moors Sports Club to a 13-run victory over Ports Authority Cricket Club at Moors' ground. Moors lost their top four for 24 runs, and their fifth at 51, but an 81-run partnership between Kaushalya Gajasinghe and Janaka Gunaratne - who was the only man to cross 50 - helped shore up the innings. Dilhara Lokuhettige's 30 eventually pushed the team to 214.
Ports Authority were steady after an early loss, reaching 79 for 1 by the 19th over, but began to lose wickets quickly after that, to both spin and pace. Chaturanga de Silva took 3 for 41 and Lokuhettige finished with 2 for 32, as Moors wiped the opposition out for 201.
Nondescripts Cricket Club cruised to a six-wicket win against Chilaw Marians. After Chilaw were put in to bat, Lasith Malinga struck an early blow for NCC, but it wasn't until spinners Sohan Boralessa and Tharindu Kaushal came into the attack that wickets truly began to tumble. Umesh Karunaratne resisted with 63 as the remainder of the top order fell around him, and remained unbeaten as his team was bowled out for 152 in the 45th over. Kaushal and Boralessa took three wickets apiece, with the latter earning the better economy rate.
NCC openers Niroshan Dickwella and Upul Tharanga provided a sturdy start, hitting 40 and 35 respectively. Dinesh Chandimal struck 36 and Angelo Perera remained unbeaten on a run-a-ball 40 as his side crossed the target in 33 overs.
Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. He tweets here